Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Science/Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Julie Bass

Second Advisor

Kathleen Matuska


Doctor of Occupational Therapy


In the United States traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious public health concern that results in death and disability for thousands of people each year (CDC, 2019b). Traumatic brain injuries were diagnosed in nearly 2.8 million of the 26 million injury-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths that occurred in the United States (CDC, 2014). The significance of this occurrence has launched TBI as being recognized more as a disease process, rather than a discrete event, because of the potential it presents for non-reversible and chronic health effects (Masel and DeWitt, 2010). These findings point to the chronic health effects of TBI that can affect a person’s health, social and community environment long after acute medical treatment and rehabilitation (CDC, 2015).

The purpose of this project was to examine the evidence for best practice community based programs to address management of secondary conditions for adults with traumatic brain injury. Two programs the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) and the Brain Injury Clubhouse Model were identified as emerging evidence-based practice areas for occupational therapy practitioners. Through three focused knowledge translation projects on this topic, it was found that occupational therapy practitioners and other stakeholders working with this population agreed with the importance of addressing chronic conditions that effected adults with TBI returning to the community.

Through a knowledge translation project presentation of the evidence completed at a state brain injury professional conference, occupational therapy practitioners indicated positive beliefs on the importance of this topic and the need for increased awareness. Another proposed national conference presentation would improve occupational therapy practitioners understanding for the importance of these models of practice.

Through a second knowledge translation project using the evidence found, an article was written to highlight the importance of the Brain Injury Clubhouse Model as a new and innovative treatment approach for occupational therapy practitioners in the community-based setting. This allowed for recognizing future opportunities and understanding a practitioner’s role in the Brain Injury Clubhouse Model of practice.

The third knowledge translation format created an educational learning course for occupational therapy doctoral students. The materials created included lecture and lab content regarding the review of evidence and exploration of the role of occupational therapy practitioner’s involvement within the CDSMP and the Brain Injury Clubhouse Model.

Completion of these knowledge translation projects allowed for increased awareness, educating on opportunities for advocacy and affirmed the importance of this topic for community-based occupational therapy practitioners and related stakeholders.

Further research is needed to understand the role of occupational therapy practitioners within these two programs. Occupational therapy practitioners have a unique role to advocate for the importance of management of secondary conditions related to adults with brain injury and how to influence changes in the community through future research. Community re-entry and management of chronic conditions is an important topic that may affect occupational participation for adults with TBI. It is important that more research is done to understand how to develop and support success in this area.